Audit Blasts Texas Cancer Agency Over Transparency

AUSTIN (January 28, 2013)--A critical report by state auditors says the agency responsible for a $3 billion cancer-fighting effort in Texas must address "significant issues" with accountability and transparency.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas could not produce documentation supporting the approval of several taxpayer-funded grants, auditors said.

On Monday The Associated Press obtained a copy of the findings from the State Auditor's Office, which has not yet officially released the nearly 100-page report.

The report says agency leaders generally agreed with recommendations surrounding management and accountability.

Widely celebrated after winning approval from Texas voters in 2007, CPRIT is now under criminal investigation after spending much of the past year in turmoil over questions surrounding several lucrative awards.

In a statement issued Monday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said, “Going forward, funding for CPRIT will continue only once complete confidence and trust is restored to the agency by the people of Texas.”

“Despite this setback, I'm still committed to the noble purpose approved by the voters to help deliver promising cures to cancer victims to save their lives. I fully expect to address the concerns this Session and return CPRIT to its original mission of defeating cancer,” he said.

The Dallas Morning News first obtained a copy of the audit.

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